Blast From the Past

The thing about the net is this -- it keeps everything.  Maybe it's an old photo of you in a schoolgirl outfit and a Richard Nixon mask with an aquarium full of ferrets balanced on your head (okay, maybe that's just me).  Maybe it's the complete record of an ill-advised flame war in which you were a combatant back in 1999.  Maybe it's that old high school yearbook picture someone on Facebook keeps reposting.

In my case, it's a short story I sold way back in 2004 to a webzine named Abyss&Apex.

The story is called The Powerful Bad Luck of DD Dupree.  You can still read it, for free, seven years after it was posted.  Abyss&Apex is still going strong.

This is one of the few stories I set in the so-called real world.  It's about two white kids befriending a mysterious black man in 1970s Mississippi.  Yeah, there are ghosts.  Everything I write has ghosts.  A therapist should probably address that, someday.

I just re-read DD Dupree again today, mainly to see if something I wrote seven years ago would make me first cringe in horror and then hide under the desk in shame.  Surprisingly, it doesn't.  My writing has changed in the last seven years, but that's a pretty good story.

If you've gone and read the story, you might be interested to know that the character Wade Lee was based on a real man, who was really missing both legs and an arm.  He lost them the same way the Wade Lee in the story lost his -- they were torn off by a corn picker.  And the real Wade Lee lived in a tiny shack exactly like the one in the story.

The Browny Woods are based on a real place, too.  The real location has no name, but I could take you to it, and I think you too would feel the same creepy sense of  being watched, of being asked for something, that I always felt there.

The grease truck man?  Also based on a real person.  I worked at a deli as a kid, and we emptied spent fryer grease into a huge barrel behind the store.  It vanished, twice a month, in the dead of night, whisked away to parts and fates unknown.

So if you're bored and you've got a few minutes to kill, here's a blast from the past, entitled The Powerful Bad Luck of DD Dupree.  Enjoy!